Coconut Woman

Meat Market, Flat Floor Theatre
12—15 May $25

Coconut Woman

Dirty Pearl Productions

Coconut Woman is a comedy-drama with music. A fish out of water story, raw, funny, poignant, with just the right amount of musical punctuation.

A Torres Strait Islander led production, Coconut Woman explores disconnection and the challenges of navigating the choppy waters of reunification. Of finding a way Home.

It begins in Melbourne, on the land of the Kulin Nations, at Nancy Bruce’s Arts consultancy. Business is slow, then a huge opportunity propels Nancy up north to the Torres Strait Islands, to the ancestral home of her late Mother. Armed with a deadline and little cultural knowledge, a comedy of errors ensues as Nancy dives freestyle into Ailan life, all the while observed by her unimpressed, newfound Ailan family.

Starring Melbourne Fringe’s Best Emerging Indigenous Artist Laila Thaker (Meriam-Badulaig) and AFI Nominee Charles Passi (Meriam), Coconut Woman pulls on the heartstrings and delves into the intricacies of ‘finding place, of going home’.

Writer and director Maryanne Sam brings you this story of reconnection adding to the repertoire of Torres Strait Islander storytelling in this country.

Dates & Times

  • Wed 12 May 7pm
  • Thu 13 May 7pm
  • Fri 14 May 7pm
  • Sat 15 May 7pm
  • AUSLAN interpreted performance Sat 15 May 12pm

Runtime: 80 minutes


  • Adult $25
  • Concession $20
  • Blaktix $10

Transaction fees may apply


  • Cast:
  • Nancy Bruce/Shilita Gazeer: Laila Thaker (Meriam/ Badulaig)
  • Harry Gazeer: Charles Passi (Meriam)
  • Cessy Gazeer: Deb Lowah Clark (Meriam Mer)
  • Johnno/Pastor: Richard Piper (Lives on the land of the Kulin Nations)
  • Young Harry/Michael: Corey Saylor-Brunskill (Meriam Mer, Waiben)
  • Young Cessy Gazeer: Tobi Sam-Morris (Meriam)

  • Production Crew:
  • Writer/Director/Producer: Maryanne Sam (Meriam)
  • Co-Production Managers: Greg Fryer (Walpiri) and Lisa Parris (Lives on Wurundjeri Land)
  • Set/Costume Designer: Robyne Latham (Yamatji)
  • Lighting Designer: Jenny Hector (Lives on Boonwurrung Land)
  • Musical Director/Arranger: Jayden Lillyst (Gunditjmara)
  • Choir Master/Cultural Consultant: Luke Captain (Meriam Mer)
  • Stage Manager: Greg Fryer (Walpiri)
  • Production Management Assistant Mentee: Tobi Sam-Morris (Meriam)
  • Director's Mentor: Andrea James (Yorta Yorta/Gunaikurnai)
  • Original Music Scores/Arrangement: Irine Vela (Lives on Wurundjeri Land)
  • Original Words and Music: Maryanne Sam
  • Set Builder: Jim Stenson, Independent Scenery


Wheelchair Accessible Auslan Interpreted

Auslan interpreted performance Sat 15 May 12pm


Frequent coarse language

Additional Info

Commissioned and presented by YIRRAMBOI Festival.

This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund is provided through Regional Arts Australia, administered in Victoria by Regional Arts Victoria. Also, kindly supported by Siobhain Geaney and the team at Chunky Move.

Heartfelt thanks and appreciation: Caroline Martin, Sarah Jane Bond, Lisa Parris, Irene Vela, Catherine Pitman, Mary Lou Jelbart and team at 45 Downstairs, Tony Lovett at Ballarat Koorie Hub, Jane Harrison, Glenn Shea, Lily Shearer, Syd Brisbane, Malcolm Sanders, Kate Gillick, Tracy Bourne, Deborah Klein at City of Ballarat, Arthur at Yarraville Masonic Hall, Gail Mabo, Moogahlin Performing Arts, Fred Copperwaite, Kyle Morrison, Kamarra Bell-Wykes, John Harding, Kelly Saylor, Sharni McDermott, Bethany Cooper, Marcus Corowa, John Blair, Victoria Kennedy, Dulcie Cook, Jason Tamiru at Malthouse Theatre, Brett Lee, Liz Liddle, Ellen Connor Csar, Michelle Preshaw, Mabu Mabu Café, Aicey Day, Lauren Bok, Kim Bennett, Hannah Strout, Donna Woods, Emily Behrendt, David Geoffrey Hall, Megan Exton, Owen Leong, Chloe Turner, Sasha Leong, Emily Obrien, Jy Hildred, Norah Bagiri, Pierotta Bagiri, Liz Symons at MTC, Ben at Footscray Community Arts, Maisie Csar, Richard Marles, Ged Kearney, Wayne Quillam, Corey Saylor-Brunskill’s Nan, Pop, Mum, Dad and the late great Peter Rotumah.

Photo by Tobi Sam-Morris.